NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee judge has ruled that the state’s much-debated school voucher program is illegal and cannot be implemented despite education officials receiving thousands of applications from parents hoping to use public tax dollars on private schooling tuition.
Davidson County Chancellor Anne C. Martin said in her Monday order that the voucher law, which Gov. Bill Lee signed into effect last year, violated the Tennessee constitution’s “home rule.”
Home rule prohibits the General Assembly from passing laws that target specific counties without local approval.
Lee’s administration had backed the legislation during his first year as governor, gaining just narrow support from the GOP-controlled Statehouse and strong opposition from Democratic members and public education advocates.
“Chancellor Martin’s decision today, granting the counties’ summary judgment motion, now permanently enjoins the state from implementing the unconstitutional voucher program,” said the ACLU in a statement to News 2.